Research and Scholarship

Main Content

Lei Zhang, PhD, MBA

Lei Zhang 2021

Contact Information

2500 N. State St.
Jackson, MS 39216-4505

601-815-9780 or

Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship

PhD, Biostatistics, 2006, University of Mississippi

Research Interests

  • data and research support to maternal and child health
  • oral health
  • chronic disease
  • tobacco control programs

Research Synopsis

Dr. Lei Zhang is professor and associate dean for research and scholarship in School of Nursing at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). He also holds the secondary appointments as professor of data science in UMMC’s John D. Bower School of Population Health and professor of Health Administration in School of Health Related Professions.

Prior to becoming an associate dean, Dr. Zhang served as director and chief research biostatistician of Office of Health Data and Research at the Mississippi State Department of Health, where he oversaw surveillance, research and program evaluation for maternal and child health, chronic disease, oral health, tobacco control, and occupational health programs.

He is a certified public manager from the Mississippi State Personnel Board and a graduate from the State Executive Development Institute of Mississippi.

Recent accomplishments and honors

  • 2019 - 2020 President-Elect, Mississippi Public Health Association
  • 2019 - 2020 Tresurer/Immediate Past Chair, Applied Public Health Statistics Section, American Public Health Association
  • 2018 Norman C. Nelson Order of Teaching Excellence Award, UMMC
  • 2017 Alton B. Cobb Lifetime Achievement Award, Mississippi Public Health Association

Selected publications

  • Elaine F. Molaison, Jerome R. Kolbo, Lei Zhang, Bonnie Harbaugh, Olivia Ismail, and Bethany Yurko. Significant Declines in Overweight and Obesity among Mississippi Public School Students. Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Association, April 2020 (Accepted).
  • Tanya Funchess, Morgan Bradwell, Stephanie McLeod, Eden Blackwell, Jerome R. Kolbo, Lei Zhang, and Olivia Hogan. Racial Disparities in Reproductive Healthcare among Parous and Nulliparous Women. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, April 2020 (Accepted).
  • Seung Hee Lee, Lei Zhang, Donald L. Rubin, and Sohyun Park. Association of Health Literacy and Menu-labeling Usage with Sugar-sweetened Beverage Intake among Adults in Mississippi, 2016. American Journal of Health Promotion, April 2020 (Accepted).
  • Wesley Q. Zhang, Shoujiang Tang, Thomas Dobbs, and Lei Zhang. Factors Associate with Colorectal Cancer Screening among Mississippi Adults – Findings from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Southern Medical Journal, April 2020 (Accepted. Manuscript Number – SMJ-20-028).
  • Carolann Risley, Megan A. Clarke, Kim R. Geisinger, Mary W. Stewart, Lei Zhang, Kim W. Hoover, Laree M. Hiser, Kenyata Owens, Maria DeMarco, Mark Schiffman, and Nicolas Wentzensen. Racial Differences in HPV Type 16 Prevalence in Women with ASCUS of the Uterine Cervix. American Society Journal, April 2020 (
  • Glen Graves, Juanita Graham, Lauren Ryan, Changhong Wen, Lei Zhang, and Michelle Y. Owens. Implementing an Interpregancy Care Project among Rural and Urban Mississippi Cohorts. Journal of Mississippi Medical Association. Vol. 61, No.2, 2020, 28-36.
  • Ninglong Han, Crystal Veazey, Beryl W. Polk, Gerri Cannon-Smith, and Lei Zhang. Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors and Trends Associated with Blood Lead Levels and Children Younger than 6 Years Old in Mississippi, 2009-2015. Journal of Mississippi Medical Association. Vol. 60, No.6, 2019, 206-211.
  • Howard H. Chang, Anqi Pan, David Lary, Lance A. Waller, Lei Zhang, Bruce Bracking, Richard Finley, and Fazlay S. Faruque. Time-series Analysis of Satellite-derived Fine Particulate Matter Pollution and Asthma Morbidity in Jackson, MS. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. June 2019. Article number: 280 (2019).
  • Judy Gordy, Lei Zhang, Amy L. Sullivan, Jessica H. Bailey, and Elizabeth O. Carr. Teaching and Learning in an Active Learning Classroom – A Mixed-Methods Empirical Cohort Study. Journal of Dental Education, March 2019. 83(3):342-50.
  • Vincent L. Mendy, Rodolfo Vargas, Marinelle Payton, Jennifer N. Sims, and Lei Zhang. Trend in the Stroke Death Rate among Mississippi Adults, 2000-2016. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2019 Feb 14; 16:E21.
  • Zhen Zhang, Lei Zhang, James Veillette, and Timothy Tate.Ensemble Modeling with SPSS Modeler. Proceedings for the 2018 Joint Statistical Meetings. Business and Economic Statistics Section – JSM 2018. 2873-2876.
  • Carolann Risley, Kim R. Geisinger, Jennifer C. Robinson, Mary W. Stewart, Lei Zhang, Rhonda Alexander, and Stephen S. Raab. Precancerous Cervical Lesions and HPV Genotypes Identified in Previously Unsatisfactory Cervical Smear Tests after Inexpensive Glacial Acetic Acid Processing. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, April 2018. DOI: 10.1002/ijgo.12699.